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How can a doctor know if you have cancer?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Charles Davant
Family Medicine

In brief: Pathology

We can sometimes make a pretty good guess just from symptoms and a few tests.
But a guess isn't good enough and a firm diagnosis usually involves looking at tissue taken from the tumor--sometimes just a few cells from a pap test or sputum are enough and sometimes a lot more is removed if the tests strongly suggest a malignancy.

In brief: Pathology

We can sometimes make a pretty good guess just from symptoms and a few tests.
But a guess isn't good enough and a firm diagnosis usually involves looking at tissue taken from the tumor--sometimes just a few cells from a pap test or sputum are enough and sometimes a lot more is removed if the tests strongly suggest a malignancy.
Dr. Charles Davant
Dr. Charles Davant
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